As the new federal cabinet is approved, fissures between the old one have started to crack open. In the most recent bid, former minister for Human Rights, Dr. Shireen Mazari, took shots at the former law minister Farogh Naseem for not having “the courage to admit as Law Minister he pushed through this reference (against Qazi Faez Isa) despite many of us opposing it in the cabinet.”
Ex law minister Farogh Naseem, in an interview with Shahzeb Khanzada on Monday, said that the deposed Prime Minister had insisted on filing the presidential reference against the Supreme Court judge – Justice Qazi Faez Isa – set to become the Chief Justice in 2023. The reference was filed against the top judge based on the findings of the Assets Recovery Unit (ARU), which was then headed by the former prime minister’s aide Shahzad Akbar. Naseem further added that “The summary against Justice Faez Isa was a sensitive matter, and every aspect of the case was scrutinized […] I had no personal conflict with Justice Isa.”
Following his statement, ex information minister Fawad Chaudhary reminded Farogh Naseem that “the reference was filed upon your insistence.” He further added that the “entire matter was concocted by you [Farogh Naseem]” and underscored that the former law minister should take responsibility for filing the reference. Chaudhary claimed that he had emphasized that “it is not the government’s job to file references against judges.” Finally, he claimed to have opined that “if a reference is to be filed, then bar associations can do it.”
بطور لاء منسٹر آپ کو ذمہ داری لینی چاہئے، حقیقت یہ ہے کہ تمام معاملہ آپ نے کھڑا کیا میں نے کابینہ میں کہا ججز کیخلاف ریفرینس بھیجنا حکومت کا کام نہیں اگر الزامات کے ثبوت ہیں تو بار ایسوسی ریفرنس کر لے لیکن آپ کی آصرار پر ریفرینس بھیجا گیا pic.twitter.com/dvwnyOdHnB
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) April 18, 2022
Former Minister Shireen Mazari responding to the tweet of her party member noted his statements to be true and termed them to be “absolutely correct.” However, Chaudhary’s assertions were dismissed as “balderdash” by the ex-law minister who urged Fawad to “show the minutes of the cabinet meeting where he spoke against the reference as the minutes of a cabinet meeting are noted down”.
Absolutely correct. Farogh should have the courage to admit as Law Minister he pushed thru this reference despite many of us opposing it in cabinet. https://t.co/IEuhEbdJWD
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) April 18, 2022
The reference filed against Justice Qazi Faez Isa alleged that the apex court judge had acquired three properties in London in the name of his wife and children but failed to disclose them in his returns statement. Justice Isa claimed that he was neither the direct nor the indirect beneficiary of the properties in question. Nevertheless, the judge presented the source (of money) before the court, after which the Chief Justice said that “We are quite satisfied that you have the material in support of the source (of money) for the properties,”. On June 19, 2020, the reference was declared to “be of no legal effect whatsoever” and stood quashed before the court.